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44 of 46 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Excellent Show That Deserves a Better DVD
What can I say about this groundbreaking hit TV show from 1977 that other reviewers haven't already said? This is an excellent, hilarious soap opera spoof that focuses on two familes whose only link is the matriachs, Jessica and Mary, two sisters. Well, Jessica is also sleeping with Mary's stepson, so I guess there are more links. Several funny storylines are woven...
Published on November 15, 2003 by P. Solinger

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199 of 214 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars NOTE - 4 Episodes are Edited - Inexcusable for DVD
As soon as this set came out, I posted below, enthusiastic about receiving complete, unedited episodes, even to the point of excusing the absence of extras.
I was wrong. As discussed by others below and on the Yahoo Soap Group, a comparison of the DVD episodes with the complete, unedited episodes on the Columbia House videotapes shows that 4 DVD episodes are...
Published on November 10, 2003 by esb100


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199 of 214 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars NOTE - 4 Episodes are Edited - Inexcusable for DVD, November 10, 2003
By 
As soon as this set came out, I posted below, enthusiastic about receiving complete, unedited episodes, even to the point of excusing the absence of extras.
I was wrong. As discussed by others below and on the Yahoo Soap Group, a comparison of the DVD episodes with the complete, unedited episodes on the Columbia House videotapes shows that 4 DVD episodes are edited:
Episode 2 - Edits out Jody singing "There's Nothing Like a Dame" and the tune the Godfather hums after Danny leaves the sauna.
Episodes 16 and 17 are the syndicated versions, each missing 2 and 1/2 minutes from the complete episodes.
Episode 19 deletes the "On the last episode on Soap" intro.
It should be noted that the company issuing Soap on DVD, Columbia TriStar, also puts out Sanford and Son on DVD, and that a second season DVD episode of Sanford and Son, "Blood is thicker than Junk" incredibly edits out 2 and 1/2 minutes which appear on the syndicated version.
All of this, of course, is not important in light of what's happening in the world, but it does show extrememe sloppiness and lack of care by Columbia TriStar.
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44 of 46 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Excellent Show That Deserves a Better DVD, November 15, 2003
By 
P. Solinger (Yuma, Arizona United States) - See all my reviews
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What can I say about this groundbreaking hit TV show from 1977 that other reviewers haven't already said? This is an excellent, hilarious soap opera spoof that focuses on two familes whose only link is the matriachs, Jessica and Mary, two sisters. Well, Jessica is also sleeping with Mary's stepson, so I guess there are more links. Several funny storylines are woven together in this first season, culiminating with a classic murder mystery that stretches for twelve of the 25 episodes.
This is definitely a five star TV show, but the DVD production is severely lacking. Not only are a couple of episodes edited, as previously reported, but there are no extras to speak of (unless you count movie trailers). I can easily recommend this collection to purchase, just due to the excellent episodes of this series that you will get. However, Soap deserved more effort from Columbia House, and one can only hope they release season two with complete, unedited episodes. Knowing their history, however, extras will probably continue to be a pipe dream.
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37 of 39 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Television's Landmark Comedy, September 14, 2003
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At long last, "Soap" comes to DVD. An avid fan of the show since it originally aired in the 70's, I own the series on VHS but am estatic about the DVD release for a few reasons. Not only do I look forward to selecting which episodes to watch over and over again, ANY extras will just be icing on this delicious cake. But beyond that, having Season One on DVD means that there's a commitment to releasing future seasons of this quinti-sensational laugh-riot-of-a-comedy. Now I know what my friends are getting for Christmas this year!
Ruthlessly funny and irreverent, SOAP was like a breath of fresh air when it first made its network appearance 25 years ago. My best friend and I would literally watch each episode together - eithe rin person or on the phone, mostly to share the immediacy of the funniest gags we'd ever scene, but also to ensure one of us would remember all the lines the next day. With a cast of characters that quite honestly DEFINED the word CHARACTERS "Soap" ranks as the funniest comedy series of the past 40 years, perhaps ever. Up there with "I Love Lucy" each episode guarantees a laugh - guffaws and belly grabbing are a given. Few series have ever combined wit and wisdom the way SOAP did. Sure - it introduced prime time's first "out" gay character (Jodie, the incomparable Billy Crystal) but no show has even come close to creating some of the other situations you'll find here!
A demon baby? YEP, why not, when a fallen priest (Father Tim) hooks up with the ... daughter Corinne.
A talking grapefruit? Sure...if you're imitating one crazy sibling's unique attachment to a ventriloquist dummy named Bob.
A mother in lust with her daughter's lover (and tennis coach)? Trust me, Lifetime never had it this good.
How about murder? Alien Abductions? A gay quarterback? An all-knowing scene-stealing butler (the one and only BENSON)? Yep, they're all here. And Richard Mulligan - the late great and brilliant comedian who forever channelled the character of Burt -is absolutely the funniest TV dad you'll ever meet. You can keep Bill Cosby - gimme BURT any day! And Katherine Helmond, whose bust and boundless sex-kittenish turn as Jessica Tate made her a TV staple - is an absolute joy.
SOAP was - and remains - a series that breaks the rules and still works. Its humor was often raw and raunchy, but human nonetheless. Forget "Happy Days" - for pure unduplicated television laughs, SOAP is comedy heaven.
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18 of 19 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Great TV Show Finally On DVD, October 26, 2003
By 
Back in 1977, this show was very controversal. It is somewhat tame by today's standards, but the humor still works. It's just less likely to offend people. This show is a soap satire. It is a comedy soap opera. This was the first series to have a cliffhanger at the end of each season. It might have been the first series with a non-stereotypical homosexual male. ...although Jody Dallas (Billy Crystal) is almost a stereotype at first. The plot of each episode can get as insane as the daily soap operas. Soap lasted 4 seasons with a 5th season planned. There was a spin-off, Benson, which had one episode that was used to tie-up the loose ends.
The series focuses on two sisters, Jessica Tate (Katherine Helmond) and Mary Campbell (Cathryn Damon). Jessica and Chester (Robert Mandan) are the rich couple. Jessica can be a little slow-witted at times during the comic moments. Chester is a stockbroker who is always cheating on Jessica. Mary and Burt (Richard Mulligan) aren't rich, but they have their share of troubles too. The Major (Arthur Peterson), Jessica's and Mary's dad, still believes World War II is going on. There is plenty more, but I'm only sticking to what's established at the very beginning. I don't want to spoil anything.
In response to a previous review, the summary of past events at the start of each episode may mention something or use clips that happened a few episodes earlier. It reminds you of what you need to know for the episode about to be shown. I remember the scene the reviewer claims was missing.
Burt Campbell and Jessica Tate are my personal favorites in the series. Other characters improve as the series progresses. Danny Dallas (Ted Wass) becomes more of an idiot in later episodes.
I wish the box for this set was more sturdy like the box Fox uses for The Simpsons. There are also no cutouts in the outside case to help you grab the insert to get the discs out. I keep thinking I'm going to tear the box when I try to pull the DVDs out. The first couple of times I had trouble getting the insert that holds the DVDs out. It does begin to come out easier each time.
None of the Columbia/TriStar DVDs of old TV shows seem to have many extras. The most you can expect are previews related to something about the show. This Soap set has an ad for other retro TV DVD sets and a trailer for America's Sweetheart (because Billy Crystal stars in it).
TRIVIA BITS:
Rod Roddy of The Price Is Right ("Come On Down!") provided the narration at the beginning and ending of each episode.
Richard Mulligan is also known for his role in Empty Nest.
Katherine Helmond also starred on Who's The Boss and has appeared more recently on Everybody Loves Raymond as Lois.
Robert Mandan appeared on Star Trek: Deep Space Nine in "Cardassians."
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12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Fantastic show, barely adequate release, June 28, 2004
By 
James R. Curry (Louisville, Kentucky United States) - See all my reviews
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In today's entertainment climate, it's hard to imagine how the content of Soap was enough to warrant the flood of letters received by the network in criticism of the show, but in 1977, Soap was quite a scandal; before the first episode even aired!
It's also hard to believe that Soap's quirky, off-beat premise has never been duplicated, as over 25 years later, it still stands as a completely unique take on the traditional sitcom format. That's not to say that Soap hasn't dated at all - it does show its age in a number of places, although certainly much less than many of its contemporaries in the television world; Soap remains, overall, a breath of fresh air.
The formula is remarkably simple: Take two families so dysfunctional that they make The Simpsons seem like paragons of fine social behaviour, and throw them into insane soap-opera-esque situations, with each episode following on from the last and the plots gradually getting more and more exagerated, ridiculous, and labyrinthine, blatantly parodying the numerous soap operas that plague network TV, even to this day.
It could have been an unmitigated disaster, as attempts to create "wacky" TV often result in an unintelligent, directionless mess that seems like nothing more than a series of failed attempts to elicit a laugh from the audience. Not so with Soap. It's partly because the writing was sharp, and often witty with some fantastic one-liners. It's partly due to strong characters that you could actually feel for, when the show took one of its more serious turns. It has a lot to do with an incredible ensemble cast who each provided perfectly timed deliveries and a neverending array facial expressions that were often as entertaining as the writing itself.
Based upon the quality of the material, I won't hesitate to recommend this DVD set, particularly to those who've never experienced the show. Its very nature does, after all, require it to be viewed in order, for maximum enjoyment, and this boxed set offers the opportunity. (While TV Land insist on only purchasing the rights to a group of episodes from the second season, and airing them incessantly).
So whilst fans of the show should rush out and buy this set, and those who have never seen it should pay the (very reasonable) asking price to get a first look, the set does have a number of problems.
MOST forgiveable is the lack of extras. Most of us buy these things for the episodes, after all, but some decent extras can make what is a good set into an outstanding one.
STILL forgiveable is the cramming of 25 episodes onto 3 disks. Ordinarily, this might provoke a little more aggrivation, but the show was shot on videotape in the 1970s. A little less compression isn't going to do much to improve the picture, which is still the best this show has looked in a long while.
ANNOYING is the fact that a few episodes have been slightly edited. I understand that this isn't for time, nor content, but due to non-cleared music rights, which I can understand. These edits are small, and shouldn't disuade you from this purchase.
MOST DISGUSTING, however, is the fact that syndicated versions of two of these episodes were included, instead of the original, uncut versions. There's absolutely no reason for this, and it seems wholely sloppy. Thankfully, it's limited to just two episodes, but the producers of this set should be ashamed of themselves. I seriously hope this won't happen again for the second season set.
So, overall, a set with a few annoying quirks, but nevertheless the first 25 episodes of a show that would easily have been worth a five star rating should a little more care been taken with the release. At the asking price, it's a steal!
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12 of 13 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Finally, the insanity whenever I want to see it., September 22, 2003
By 
Ralph L. Salisbury (Towson, Maryland USA) - See all my reviews
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Verified Purchase(What's this?)
Two months ago some friends and I were talking about this show, and how great it would be to have it on DVD. And now it's here! I spent most of this past weekend watching all 25 episodes and I can't wait to watch it again. This is truly a comedy classic. Could they get away with some of this stuff today? Not a chance! And that's a shame, because 'Soap' contains some of the funniest dialog you'll ever hear. (And, some of the most touching.) To careen from pure buffoonery to heart wrenching emotion and back to slap-stick, while keeping it solidly entrenched with the characters and situations, is pure genious. The cast is outstanding, and the guest stars terrific. (Harold Gould is memorable as Barney Gerber as is Gordon Jump as Sheriff Tinkler.) But, to me, Richard Mulligan and Katherine Helmond make this show. No one, and I mean no one, was funnier than Mulligan as Burt Campbell. An elastic face and a slap-stick mentality carried him over the top and back again. Helmond, as Jessica Tate drifted seamlessly between screwball and martyr.
Now, why only four stars? Easy. The other comments about poor color transfer and lack of features/bonus material are right on the money. I know that you can pick this 3 disc set up for $20 brand new and right off the shelf, but this show was too important to give it such short shrift. It broke ground that no one else dared to tread. And that ground still remains largely untouched in the PC world of television that exists today. Either way, buy it, rent it, borrow it, hey... even steal it. Just take the time to watch it.
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great cast + Great writing = GREAT SHOW, December 31, 2003
By 
"ceedj" (Niagara Falls, NY, USA) - See all my reviews
I can't really add too much to the other reviews - the cast was fantastic, and the writing was outstanding. I think the editorial reveiwer said it best when refering to the cast "you can care about"; despite all the looney stuff that goes on in the series, the acting and writing are EXTREMELY well done, and most of it holds up to anything that's out today (Jessica's goodbye to Corin is especially heartwrenching; Kathrine Helmond is excellent all around, and a WAY better actress than I ever gave her credit for. Very nice work).
All in all, this is a fantastic set, marred only by Sony's ineptitude when it comes to extras for it's DVD packages. However, viewed on it's own merits, the show hit a home run everytime.
Highest Recommendation.
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11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars 5 star show on a 3 star DVD!, September 30, 2003
By 
Brett D. Cullum (Houston, TX United States) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)    (REAL NAME)   
SOAP was amazing when it aired, and it still has a lot going for it. The slapstick scenes are impeccable, the comedy is brilliant and sharp, and the heartwrenching scenes are so well done! It's the story of two sisters and their respective families - Jessica Tate and Mary Campbell. In true soap opera form in this first season someone is murdered, everyone seems to have an affair, several people have nervous breakdowns, somebody tries to quit the mob and gets drug back in, somebody goes into the hospital for a sex change, somebody finds out they were adopted, impossible love rears its head several times, a couple of people are accused of murder, and many of the characters are blackmailed! This doesn't even BEGIN to cover all that happens!
SOAP moved at lightning speed doing what most soap operas take years to develop. I watched it back in the days it was on, and I was afraid it would not hold up well. Guess what? It does! SOAP was funny because of the characters not topical discussions. Sure there are plenty of 70s touches - the costumes, the way the show looks, but it's still funny and moving. The ensemble was unbeatable!
The DVD gives you 22 episodes spread out over 3 discs. No extras! And this show begs for them. It was the FIRST show to have a content warning before it aired, the first show with an openly gay character (Billy Crystal as Jody Dallas), and it's soooooo irreverant and politcally incorrect! Black jokes, gay jokes, veteran jokes, talk about orgasms, talk about infidelity, talk about impotence, mental health issues, hookers, politicians -- I could go on and on with the tabboos this show broke! It seems a little less sensational here in 2003, but it's still something special. Too bad they didn't put more on the discs, but the show itself is well worth the price! Is the picture quality poor? Yes, but that may be because of the way networks taped shows back then. SOAP was never high on production values, just high on its own giddy satire!
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliance, January 1, 2004
By 
Charlie (Clearwater, FL United States) - See all my reviews
If you did not catch SOAP when it originally aired, how unfortunate. To be living in a time when the issues they so beautifully addressed were so prevalent made the show pure genious. It made us laugh at ourselves. The reference to being a soap opera spoof are misleading. It didn't turn out to be that way. You grew to love and enjoy every character with all of their quirks. The writing, acting, and comedic delivery were sheer brilliance. I was saddened on many levels when it was abruptly cancelled because enough people (or maybe just a few loud enough people) just didn't get it. It was brilliant and just what the doctor ordered for it's time. I'm so glad it is available again. Don't miss it. You'll be quoting lines from it for the rest of your life.
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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Can't Wait For More "Soap!, November 9, 2003
By 
J. M. DeAngelis "jmichael79" (Springfield, PA United States) - See all my reviews
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The is a very nice first season release of the classic sitcom "Soap." Stellar writing, acting and directing makes this show a cut above most things on tv today. Though time has not been kind to the video quality of some of the episodes, these dvds still look much better then the reruns on TVLand or Comedy Central. Do not hesitate to buy this fine set. I hope that Colubia Tri-Star delivers us seasons 2-4, because this show deserves to be preserved and seen in the dvd format. Perhaps they can include the two 90 minute "Soap" retrospectives that were put on VHS in the mid-1990's as part of future sets.
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Soap : Season 1
Soap : Season 1 by Ron Roddy (DVD - 2010)
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